February 2023 WaveCrest Cafe Newsletter
February 07th, 2023
WELCOME OUR NEW DIRECTOR, KARLY WASUNG
A little over a year ago we introduced you to Karolyn (Karly) Wasung, who joined us as our Operations Manager. Karly is an integral part of our team who makes so many things run smoothly. She’s a huge advocate for our Farm to School program as well as bringing a variety of creative ideas for our menu development.
So when our former Director, Jamie Phillips, announced that he was moving to lead another district, Karly was named Director; we couldn’t be more thrilled.
This isn’t Karly’s first time leading our team, as she served in a similar role not long after starting when Jamie was on parental leave. In that time, Karly continued to grow our capacity with scratch cooking, nutrition education, and expanding the menu.
When working with students on nutrition education, Karly says she hopes to give students, “a better understanding of the importance of nutrition and the long-term effects their choices today can have on the rest of their lives. I hope they will understand how to build a balanced plate and know that all foods can fit into a healthy life. Nutrition is all about balance, not about never being able to enjoy your favorite foods.”
Through taste tests and the Harvest of the Month program, Karly gets to see students discover new foods, with some even becoming favorites.
“One of my favorite things to do in nutrition classes is to have students try new foods. This allows students to venture outside of their comfort zone and encourages them to try new foods more often and incorporate a larger variety of nutritious foods in their diet. I am hoping to see the healthy habits they create now carried forward into their future.”
We’re grateful to have Karly leading our team and bringing her expertise and passion to our entire WaveCrest Cafe community.
FARM 2 SCHOOL FEATURED FARMER: SAGE MOUNTAIN FARM
When Phil Nobel moved from City Heights to a farm in Hemet in 2004 he never expected he’d actually become a farmer professionally.
“I worked for the property damage department of an insurance company,” Nobel says. “We just wanted to grow our own vegetables to save money and be sure what we were eating.”
Eighteen years later, Sage Mountain Farm is a thriving farm selling organic fruits and vegetables to restaurants, consumers, and WaveCrest Cafe. So far this school year we’ve served over 3,300 lbs. of Sage Mountain produce in our meals and on our salad bars.
Nobel wasn’t a complete beginner. “My dad used to make me sell all the leftover vegetables from our garden — the tomatoes and cucumbers,” he says. “I tell parents, ‘Never underestimate what you do with your kids.’”
“We stick to what sells and what grows here — we’re at 4,000 feet,” he says. “It’s a radical environment. Sometimes, we have to wait and wait and then hurry up and plant. But we can grow greens all year long.”
Being an organic farm, Sage Mountain doesn’t use synthetic fertilizers or pesticides.
The farm sells its produce through a variety of channels, including a CSA program (community-supported agriculture), farmers’ markets, grocery stores, as well as restaurants and institutions like WaveCrest Cafe.
Nobel’s business depends on raising a generation of healthy eaters. So far, he likes what he is seeing through his involvement with WaveCrest Cafe.
“Vista’s roots are in agriculture,” he says. “I hope my involvement with WaveCrest Cafe gets more local farms to participate.”
We’re thrilled to have Sage Mountain as part of our Farm to School program and to serve their fresh, healthy, delicious foods.
If you’re looking for a job that lets you have fun and make a difference in the community, we’ve got one for you! With hours that don’t conflict with kids’ school schedules and a fantastic team of co-workers, WaveCrest Cafe may be just what you’re looking for. Work with a fantastic group of people and amazing students while fulfilling our mission to serve the best school meals.
Our team has the unique opportunity to interact with almost every student, every day. Those interactions make a big difference in our kids’ lives, and lead to long-lasting and meaningful friendships.
See all of our available positions here: https://wavecrestcafe.com/employment-opportunities/
HARVEST OF THE MONTH
FEATURED FOOD: KIWI
We love kiwi, so it’s fitting that the same month that hosts Valentine’s Day, will feature this tasty and inviting berry as our Harvest of the Month featured food. We’re looking forward to our students learning more about this vibrant, delicious, and fun fruit.
Kiwi is originally from China but found its way to New Zealand in the early 20th century. As it grew in popularity New Zealand began to export the fruit and named it after the country’s national bird, the kiwi. And while there are over 400 varieties of kiwis, the Hayward variety is the most popular and comprises most of the sales in the US.
Kiwis are a nutrient-dense food, packed with vitamins C and K, and also a great source of fiber. Its tangy flavor is often compared to strawberries, though it has its own unique taste. Peeling away the furry brown skin reveals the vibrant green fruit inside. Kiwis are great on their own, in a salad, on cereal, or in many other ways.
• Kiwis grow on a vine that can be as tall as 30 feet.
• Kiwis are actually classified as a berry.
• California is the only US state that produces kiwis commercially for the US.
• California kiwis account for 95 percent of all kiwis grown in the United States.
• Kiwis contain an enzyme called actinidin that acts as a natural meat tenderizer.
Learn more about kiwi and discover how delicious they are. You can download our Harvest of the Month resources for families here.
If your child’s teacher wants to sign up for the program, it’s easy. For more information about the program, classroom tasting parties, and more, email Scarlett Smith.
No Cost for School Meals This Year!
We are thrilled to announce that there will be no cost for school meals in this 2022-23 school year. What’s more, there is no paperwork required for anyone, making meals not just available at no cost, but accessible for all.
Not only can families save plenty of money on food, but with meals ready at school, you’ll have more time to spend together as a family! As always, we are committed to serving fresh, healthy, delicious meals, and working with as many local and California-based farms as possible.
Join us for breakfast and lunch daily. Good nutrition leads to better learning, and we are here to serve up tasty and nutritious meals to power learning all year long.
*** With meals being offered at no charge, we are anticipating more students will be dining with us. This may affect the availability of some entrees as we learn and adapt to greater numbers and meeting the demand.
Protein Yogurt Power Box
Our elementary schools are enjoying a new vegetarian option on the current winter menu: the Protein Power Yogurt Box. This nutrient-packed meal is a delicious blend of tastes and textures sure to fuel an afternoon of learning and play.
This box is packed with a hearty helping of protein-rich yogurt, string cheese, crunchy whole-grain crackers, and sweet and tangy raisins. In addition, all students have access to salad bars packed with fresh, seasonal fruits and veggies.
Be sure to check your school’s menu to see your daily options and enjoy our fresh, healthy, and delicious meals!
*** Menus are subject to change based on ingredient availability and staffing needs.
RESOURCES, GRANTS, AND EVENTS
Request A Master Gardener For Your School
The San Diego County Master Gardener Association provides Master Gardeners to help schools set up and maintain gardens. Master Gardeners act as consultants, mentoring parents and teachers who request help with beginning or improving their school gardens. Request a garden consultant here.
Educational Garden Design Grant – Rolling Dates
The California Native Garden Foundation offers grants for school gardens that feature CA native plants. Types of support include garden design services, in-kind donations of plants and landscape materials, volunteer assistance, and direct financial assistance. Click here to learn more and to apply.
Solana Center Workshops – Rolling Dates
The Solana Center hosts a variety of workshops and lessons across San Diego County, with topics including composting, raising backyard chickens, green living, and water-wise gardening. Check out their events calendar here.
Bonnie’s Plants 3rd Grade Cabbage Program – Rolling Dates
Bonnie’s provides free mega-cabbage plants to 3rd-grade teachers across the US who want to participate. Students grow the cabbages and submit pictures and measurements of their harvest to be considered for a $1,000 scholarship. Find out how to participate here.
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(C) 2023 WaveCrest Cafe / Vista Unified School District
This institution is an equal opportunity provider.
Esta institución es un proveedor de igualdad de oportunidades.